A Metallica song and Klingon quote feature in new Lord Mayor of Portsmouth's ceremony
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In a slightly modern twist on the traditional annual mayor-making ceremony, Cllr Coles, who served as deputy for the last year, walked out in the mayoral robes to a Metallica song, before including a Klingon quote in his speech.
‘It’s been a long road getting here and I’m humbled and honoured to stand before you as the Lord Mayor and I’m looking forward to making this year a great one for the citizens of this great city,’ he said at the annual city council meeting.
Cllr Coles, who works at QA Hospital and is a former Royal Navy serviceman, was first elected to his Fratton ward in 2018. Before being re-elected last year, he promised his three daughters he would put himself forward for the position should he win.
Three charities will be supported during his tenure: Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, Home-Start Portsmouth and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
He handed out three civic awards in his first duty – the first to Portsmouth Society for its role in scrutinising planning applications. Its chairman Graham Newcombe said they were ‘delighted’ to receive the honour.
‘As local people who live here, work in and enjoy the city, we’ve been playing an active part in shaping its built and natural environment since 1973,’ he said, adding that the organisation had played an ‘active part in conserving and enhancing Portsmouth’s special built and natural environment’.
Kurdish Home in Portsmouth and astrophysicist Jen Gupta were the others to be recognised.
His deputy will be long-serving Lib Dem councillor Jason Fazackarley who himself was lord mayor in the 2004/05 municipal year.
The outgoing lord mayor, whose year began with the Queen’s platinum jubilee, was followed by her death and then ended with the coronation of the King, said it had been a ‘pleasure’ to take on the role. He has also visited Portsmouth’s twin city of Duisburg and the Falkland Islands over the past 12 months.
‘It has been a privilege to be the lord mayor of this great city,’ he said. ‘I hope that my successor will find it to be as interesting and rewarding as I did.’
He praised the ‘vital’ support from the lady mayoress Marie Costa who herself said she hoped she had been a positive role model to women and ethnic minority people in the city.